Guilty verdict in officer's murder

September 29, 2011 12:19:36 PM PDT
Jurors deliberated for three hours before convicting an alleged gang member of killing a Chicago police officer.

Officer Alejandro Valadez, 27, died in 2009. He worked at District 7 in Englewood.

Shawn Gaston, 22, wore a black button-down shirt with his dreadlocks in a ponytail as the verdict was read Wednesday. Valadez's family cried after the verdict was read. His sister, also a police officer, said she is obviously still devastated.

Prosecutors say in June of 2009, Gaston, seeking revenge, fired shots at other alleged gang members who Valadez was interviewing at the time. Gaston and his attorney claimed he fired shots from a different gun, not the one that killed Valadez.

Prosecutors also say that Gaston knew he was shooting at a police officer. Gaston is scheduled to be sentenced at the end of October.

"I took an interest in this case because I thought it was horrific that this young officer, 27, with such a future ahead of him was gunned down in such a senseless way. I got on the case back then in 2009 and I thought it would be important for me as the Cook County state's attorney to handle the case," Anita Alvarez said.

"Even though the defendant was found guilty, this is not a happy occasion for us because this verdict does not bring Alex back," said sister Brenda Valadez.

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